Through Hell Gate to The Promised Land

The sloop Restauration brought the first Norwegian emigrants to the U.S. in 1925.

The sloop Restauration brought the first Norwegian emigrants to the U.S. in 1925.

Anne Elisebeth Skogen tells the story of the first Norwegian emigrants in her performance “Through Hell Gate to the Promised Land”

“Through Hell Gate to The Promised Land” is a storytelling performance by Anne Elisebeth Skogen about the first Norwegian group of emigrants that arrived in New York Oct. 9, 1825. Skogen will perform at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in New York on Wednesday May 11 at 7 p.m. and Mindekirken Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 17.

Skogen is a Norwegian storyteller who lives close to the city of Stavanger. She has written a manuscript for the guides onboard on the new constructed replica of the emigration ship Restauration. The boat was christened last summer and will be sailing in the fjords around Stavanger for tourists and maybe also – in time – cross the Atlantic to America. Skogen also has made a school version of the story and toured schools in southwestern Norway.

She will perform her English program in the U.S. in New York and Minnesota this month. Skogen has worked with the written source material and literature about the sloopers and has made a selection of it and created an oral story of 50 minutes.

The story follows the emigrants from their first thoughts about emigration, and further on the preparations, the crossing, how they passed Hell Gate, the arriving in New York and the further travel up to Kendall at Lake Ontario. Through the storytelling the audience will learn to know about the leader of the group, Lars Gjeilane, how he got the idea to emigrate, as well as the background of some of the other emigrants. More over you will hear about social and religious conditions in Norway compared with America.

In this performance you will get the experience of joining the emigrants on their about four-month-long travel from Stavanger to Kendall.

For more information, call the Norwegian Seamen’s Church at (212) 319-0370 or Mindekirken at (612) 874-0716.

Source: Norway.org

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